Student startups in Kerala assert presence in market
Over the span of seven years, more than 360 student startups have originated from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) established across state campuses.
KOCHI: The entrepreneurial landscape within campuses is experiencing dynamic shifts. Over the span of seven years, more than 360 student startups have originated from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) established across state campuses. Among them, noteworthy ventures like Genrobotics and Zaara Biotech have transcended borders, going global with their offerings and evolving into revenue-generating entities.
The figures might indeed be higher, as indicated by an official from the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).
“KSUM possesses statistics solely for companies that have completed registration with the organisation,” he clarified. In recent times, he observed, “Numerous startups from state campuses have asserted their presence in the market by with their innovative products.”
Two compelling examples are the creations of anti-nicotine chocolate and Dhyanyamruth.
“Students from Nehru Engineering College, Palakkad, conceptualised the anti-nicotine chocolate. Meanwhile, MSc students from MG University incubation centre developed Dhyanyamruth,” the official detailed.
He further explained that campus-based startups have not only boosted participation but also inspired faculty to explore their entrepreneurial potential.
“Two such faculty-ideated startups are Leopard Tech Labs, founded by two faculty and two students of Amal Jyothy Engineering College, Kottayam, and Teqard Labs Pvt Ltd, founded by faculty and students of Adi Sankara Engineering College, Kalady in Ernakulam,” said the KSUM official.
However, many of the startups founded on the campuses don’t go on to the business mode.
According to Preethi Manniledam, CEO, of the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of NIT Calicut, though the TBI at the technology institute gets around four to five very good business ideas from the students, the probability of them continuing onto the business mode is very less.
“The reason is that the students prioritise jobs over founding businesses. Since NIT-C is an institute with a very good track record of placements, most students here prefer jobs.It is a key challenge for us,” she said.
“NIT-C has been the first to get a TBI under the Department of Science and Technology. This happened a year after Technopark,” she said adding the TBI at the institute has so far incubated 102 companies.
“Of these 25 to 30% are the ones founded by the students while the rest are from outside. In the case of sustainability, around 30 to 40 % of startups fall in this category while around 10 to 15 % can be termed to be successful ones,” she added.
Another institution that has a large number of student startups registered with the KSUM is Amal Jyothi Engineering College at Kottayam. “The Leopard Tech Labs has even secured a tie-up with the State Forest Department. They have developed software for the department that would enable it to track the wild animals in the forests,” said Sherin Sam Jose, CEO, of TBI, Amal Jyothi Engineering College.
According to him, at present 30 startups are functioning at the TBI on campus while 31 have graduated. “A lot of the student startups have the potential to turn into business mode through proper mentorship besides funding,” he added.
At present 30 startups are functioning at the TBI on campus while 31 have graduated. A lot of the student startups have the potential to turn into business mode through proper mentorship besides funding — Sherin Sam Jose, CEO of TBI, Amal Jyothi Engineering College